Who is a carer?
Anyone who has someone dependant on them for survival. Many are professionals, nurses, aids, home care, and in house care such as independent living complexes. Most are not professionals though and have no training support. Most of the non-professional carers are mammy’s and dad’s and kids to parents who need care or to siblings who have disabilities.
Ways to prevent burnout.
- Ditch the guilt. You deserve to look after yourself. You deserve to go places and chat to people and have nice things just for you.
- Do not disturb. Put 10 minutes on an egg timer, or more if you can. Make this your time. To sit and be quiet, to potter outside in the garden. Whatever it is that you want to do with this 10 minutes, it is your 10 minutes to not be disturbed by questions, requests or doing anything for anyone else but yourself. Don’t worry, everyone will get used to it after a couple of days.
- Self Soothe. As children we learn to go to sleep by ourselves and how to cope with a hurt. When you are giving your everything to care for another, you forget how to be kind to yourself and meet your own needs. Drink the water, eat the fruit, play the music, put the hot water bottle in your own bed.
- Respect. Respect that you are doing an incredible, most unacknowledged wonderful job. Acknowledge that you are doing something tangible and productive with your life. It may not be where you expected to be but you are a high achiever doing a job that not many could do.
- Me time. This is different than the 10 minutes. This is time everyday and every week that you go somewhere just for you. It could be a Sunday drive, a trip to the swimming pool ( with sauna and steam) a walk in your favourite place, or browsing in the shops or garden centre. Don’t rush it because you feel you need to be back. You are on 24 hours a day. You need this.
- Let go. When we care for others we are in control, we need to be. And it can be hard to let someone else take over for a little while. They won’t do it right, they won’t know what dd likes or how to calm her etc. It will be okay. Its important to let others feel like they can participate in this care too and its important for you to get away. You never know, it might be the best thing you ever did. Imagine having an afternoon off, every week knowing that your person is safe and in good hands?
- Fabulous food. Eat regularly. You need your strength and stamina. Low blood sugar, adrenal fatigue and no energy are not fun.
- Sleep. Its tempting to stay up after everyone else is gone to bed and have some time alone, to relax or get a few bits ready for the morning. But its not worth it. Sleep is the most important thing that you can do for yourself everyday to heal your body and produce all of the hormones you need to get through the next day. If you have trouble sleeping, determine what your sleep pattern is. If you have an active mind at night try avena sativa from Vogel or Relax from Sona. Black Cherry is also a fantastic supplement to aid with getting yourself into a good sleep routine.
- Beautiful Boundaries. Givers give. It’s our nature. We give until all of our reserves are left dry and we no longer have the energy to recharge. We need a way to give without depleting our every reserve. This can be difficult when we have a loved one dependant on us. Maybe you can’t pull back and do some of the other tips, but you can learn to give and recharge on the go. This is where something like fairy essences Humanity spray can come in. It just takes seconds to spray around you and deliver its boost. Humanity helps you to tap into the bountiful energy and give without eating up your reserves. It gives you a moment of calm when you need it.
- Breathe. It might sound cliché but taking a slow deep breath or two will relax your nervous system and help you to respond better in situations you find overwhelming or stressful.
- Ask for help. Even if it is an event trying to co-ordinate time to go to public offices, meet with the dr. or get your local politician to get back to you. The help and support you receive will be worth it and make your life easier in the long run.
Summary: Make time for yourself. Nurture yourself just as you nurture your loved one. Find the happy spots in your days and acknowledge them.
Signs of carer burnout
If any of these signs are noticed in a carer, they could strongly hint at burnout:
- Withdrawal from friends and family
2. Loss of interest in hobbies that they used to enjoy
3. Diminished appetite
4. Excessive weight loss
5. Disregard for personal health or hygiene
6. Problems with sleeping
7. Regularly feeling sick
8. Severe self-criticism
9. Speaking negatively about patients
10. Depressed feelings
11. Excessive alcohol consumption
Carers, Vibration, Healing
To help maintain boundaries around others.
- Helps you hold a space for someone and give while protecting your energy.
- Helps you retain your energy around those in crisis.
- Helps to close energy leaks.